Analysis of gossip in early childhood settings

This thesis project explores gossip in early childhood settings. Historically, gossip in the workplace has been associated with a negative connotation and viewed as a vindictive behavior. However, recent literature on gossip in the workplace is beginning to conceptualize workplace gossip as a functional form of communication (Brady, Brown, & Hanyu Liang, 2016); specifically, that individuals’ motives to gossip are an efficient way to access information (Beersma & Van Kleef, 2012). Given the findings of such studies, it may be valuable to identify the common topics of gossip in early childhood settings and the motives behind why early childhood professionals engage in gossip. In the present study, 22 graduate students who were enrolled in an early childhood education program were asked to complete a questionnaire on the content, contexts, and conditions of gossip in early childhood settings. The most frequently cited topics of gossip regarding children, parents, coworkers, and administration/administrators in early childhood settings are discussed in Chapter 4. Implications, potential limitations of the study, and ideas for future research will also be presented.